The use of electronic health records (EHR) has proved to be an effective tool to enhance care quality, reduce nursing staff’s work overload, improve patient outcomes and satisfaction, and facilitate nursing research (Atasoy et al., 2019). In particular, this technology is instrumental in reducing medical error, adverse drug effects, and documentation time (Campanella et al., 2016). However, inappropriate implementation can lead to limited benefits or even low quality of care, so it is still critical to consider the challenges associated with the use of this advancement (Akhu-Zaheya et al., 2018; Stevenson et al., 2018). This annotated bibliography includes articles that dwell upon the benefits of and obstacles to the effective use of EHR. When locating the articles for this paper, Google Scholar was employed. The keywords included electronic health records quality and electronic health records benefits. The primary inclusion criteria were the publication date (2015-2020), the type of the document (peer-reviewed articles), and the subject matter of the article (mentioned above).
Quality of nursing documentation: Paper-based health records versus electronic-based health records
This source deals with the peculiarities of the use of EHR and includes a comparison of the quality of EHR and paper-based records. Akhu-Zaheya et al. (2018) utilized a retrospective comparative design and assessed 434 records from two public hospitals (surgical and medical wards). The researchers found that both types of records had some advantages, but were associated with some limitations. It was also concluded that the participants lacked the knowledge and skills to use the two kinds of records effectively. Akhu-Zaheya et al. (2018) noted that EHR was more effective in terms of structure and process while paper-based records were better in terms of data quantity and quality. The researchers emphasized that the application of both paper-related records and EHR was not appropriate in many cases, which led to reduced care quality.
This article is a valuable source for understanding the benefits of EHR as compared to paper-based documentation. Healthcare facilities start incorporating EHR into their information systems, so it is essential to identify the challenges linked to the effective use of this technology. This knowledge will help hospitals to develop efficient training programs for nurses who will be able to utilize EHR effectively, which will lead to care quality improvement.
The digitization of patient care: A review of the effects of electronic health records on health care quality and utilization
The present article is an interdisciplinary review and literature synthetic regarding the benefits of EHR utilization, factors affecting its use, its cost-effectiveness, and other aspects linked to the matter. The purpose of this research was to explore the current knowledge on EHR and identify possible directions for further research aimed at improving EHR and its use in the healthcare setting. The researchers noted that EHR contributed to the improvement of care quality if implemented properly. The use of the system also proved cost-effective as it improved nurses’ performance and reduced the rate of medical errors and negative drug effects. Atasoy et al. (2019) also outlined several unintended consequences of the use of EHR. These included the use of data in research that covered numerous areas. EHR could also help in managing reimbursement issues as the system contained detailed information regarding employed procedures and medications. EHR can also become the key element in effective health information exchange that is regarded as the near future of the healthcare system.
The present article provides helpful insights for nurse practitioners, as well as other healthcare professionals, administrators, and policymakers. Healthcare practitioners will benefit from reading this source as it sheds light on the major aspects of the utilization of EHR.
The impact of electronic health records on healthcare quality: A systematic review and meta-analysis
The present source represents a meta-analysis and a systematic review of the effects of EHR on the quality of provided care. Campanella et al. (2016) analyzed PubMed, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Web of Knowledge databases to achieve research objectives. The researchers reviewed 47 articles and found that EHR correlated with documentation time. Other findings include the direct link between the utilization of EHR and decreased medical errors and negative drug effects, as well as the reduction of costs. It is noted that the correlation between the use of EHR and mortality was not identified. Campanella et al. (2016) concluded that the employment of EHR was beneficial for healthcare facilities, so its further incorporation in the system was recommended.
This article is a valuable source as it synthesizes the current research concerning the benefits of EHR and the primary outcomes of the use of this technology. This source can be helpful for nurses and other healthcare professionals as it will be instrumental in raising employees’ awareness of some aspects of the utilization of EHR. The article includes the data regarding the most pronounced implications, so healthcare practitioners’ motivation to utilize EHR can be improved.
Factors influencing the quality of vital sign data in electronic health records: A qualitative study
The present article is concerned with the reasons behind inappropriate documentation of vital signs in EHR. Stevenson et al. (2018) stated that vital signs documentation tended to be improper, which was identified in previous studies, but the reasons for that trend were not investigated. The researcher implemented a qualitative study that involved observations and the interviews of 14 healthcare professionals working at a 353-bed facility. It was found that the lack of guidelines regarding vital signs documentation in EHR led to inconsistencies and incompleteness. Nurses made the decision to include this or that information based on their conclusions regarding patients’ health conditions. Another factor contributing to the inadequate documentation of vital signs was the lack of the necessary facilities in EHR. Nurses did not note all the vital signs as the available tools were inappropriate for multiple documentation of such data.
This is a valuable source for nurses and administrators that provides insights into the potential challenges related to the use of EHR. The provided information can help healthcare facilities to improve the system and develop the corresponding policies. Nurses, as well as interdisciplinary teams, can collaborate with IT specialists to improve the existing EHR systems, which will lead to the more effective use of this tool.
On balance, it is possible to note that current research on electronic health records shows its benefits and certain challenges related to its utilization in the clinical setting. The primary outcomes of the application of EHR include the improvement of care quality through the reduction of medical error rate, documentation time, and adverse drug effects. The use of this technology has proved to be cost-effective, so it is becoming more common in healthcare facilities. EHR application is also associated with improved patient satisfaction and nurse retention as the workload of nursing professionals is reduced. The potential of this technology is remarkable as it can further improve care quality, contribute to data exchange, and facilitate research. However, healthcare facilities and developers should eliminate some imperfections in the system. Interdisciplinary teams should develop their suggestions related to the outline as well as the use of EHR. They should also be involved in the process of the creation and establishment of policies concerning the utilization of EHR.
- Akhu-Zaheya, L., Al-Maaitah, R., & Bany Hani, S. (2018). Quality of nursing documentation: Paper-based health records versus electronic-based health records. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(3-4), e578-e589. Web.
- Atasoy, H., Greenwood, B. N., & McCullough, J. S. (2019). The digitization of patient care: A review of the effects of electronic health records on health care quality and utilization. Annual Review of Public Health, 40(1), 487-500. Web.
- Campanella, P., Lovato, E., Marone, C., Fallacara, L., Mancuso, A., Ricciardi, W., & Specchia, M. L. (2016). The impact of electronic health records on healthcare quality: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The European Journal of Public Health, 26(1), 60-64. Web.
- Stevenson, J. E., Israelsson, J., Petersson, G., & Bath, P. A. (2018). Factors influencing the quality of vital sign data in electronic health records: A qualitative study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(5-6), 1276-1286. Web.